Monday, September 6, 2010

Road Trip Adventure: Day Three

    Let's start with a sum of cost from day two:

  • $15 per person for a tank of gas
  • $1 per person for milk
  • $2.50 for subway
  • Day Two Total: $18.50 per person
  • Trip Total Per Person: $39.25
  • Distance Traveled: 445 miles

    Day three of the trip dawned with me having yet another headache. I unzipped the tent and wandered on the beach for a while without shoes which quickly numbed my feet after the 60º night. The single blanket I had brought really didn't keep me warm in the night and I woke up frequently from the cold. I grabbed some tylenol from the car, woke up Jay, and we packed up and left after eating some wild blueberries that were growing in a shrubby patch on the beach.
Our buddy.
    We drove a long time before finding our morning stop. In a town called Paradise, Michigan we pulled into the gas station. A giant wooden carving of a black bear wearing hunter's clothing and carrying a gun guarded the entrance. We bought some more milk for cereal, and I grabbed a delicious looking honey bun (health snack). We decided that Paradise was not nearly a cool enough setting for us to eat breakfast in so we struck out once again, this time for Whitefish Point. We pulled in to find only one other vehicle in the parking lot, three older men who appeared to be doing much the same thing as us. The two groups politely ignored each other, as people so often do, and Justin and I wandered through the buildings. Finally we settled upon eating our cereal out on the driftwood strewn across the beach. While doing so we discovered, to our great delight, a fluorescent orange salamander, wandering near the lapping waves.
    We played Magic on the pier, and Justin beat me for the 7th or so time. By this time people were beginning to arrive in groves, and the buildings and museums opened up at ten o clock. We walked up to one and asked the attendant if there was anything inside worth seeing. She wasted no time in telling us that we would have to pay to get inside. Apparently she guessed from our dirty, run down, look that we weren't going to pay to get in anywhere. We thanked her for not wasting our time and then walked away remarking to each other how nice it was that someone had just cut to the meat of the issue in a conversation.
    Cereal hadn't been enough so, for the second time, we set up hobo camp in a parking lot (this time Whitefish Point Coast Guard Museum). I grabbed out the skateboards and terrorized all the elderly people visiting the museum by riding in circles in the lot. It was plain to see that they were disgusted by anyone who rode around on those little punk teenager pieces of wood with wheels. The plain instant oatmeal finished cooking and we each had half a cliff bar to go with it. Let me tell you, plain instant oatmeal is the bane of my existence. I've had bad experiences with oatmeal before, once by washing out the pot used to cook it and then heating up the oatmeal-y water and trying to drink it in order to conserve resources. Never do this, as it will force immediate projectile vomiting in all but the most hardened stomaches. Plain instant oatmeal is just one small step below this. So we broke out a can of fruit and dumped it in. It was not the most pleasant experience, but the sugar and flavor of the fruit made the oatmeal bearable, however, I'm not sure I'd do it again if I had the choice. It saved us money, though, and it's really all we had with us for a decent meal at that point. I washed out the pan in the lot while Justin went to the little boy's room.
Vermillion Station
    Fifty minutes later we pulled in to Vermillion's parking lot. I'm not going to explain this in great detail, as the video will do a much better job for you. However, when we arrived it appeared to us to be nothing short of an abandoned settlement that survived a nuclear apocalypse. Quite the interesting destination, and an adventure well worth the taking! It turned out to be all we had expected and more, because exploring somewhere new, abandoned, and with no one in sight is always exciting. After inspecting the premises, we waded through soggy cranberry bogs to get to the beach. It stretched endlessly both ways with nothing on it but smooth, flat, marvels of Lake Superior rocks. Justin set about building a scale version of Stonehenge while I threw off my flip-flops and looked for cool rocks in the shallows. I ended up returning all my rocks to the water, as I decided that in the spirit of a true adventure, I should take nothing with me. The rocks would most likely get lost, or lose their meaning to me in time. However there, on the beach where they belong, they will last until the final wave breaks them down, for all to see and to be a part of something real. They were just stones, but they were the beach, the open waters needed these rocks. After all, the waves would get bored if they didn't have rocks to polish as they splash ashore.
Magic at the Falls.
Tahquamenon Falls (Upper). 
    We fell asleep on the rocks, they were so smooth and flat that they shaped into a perfect bed upon laying down. Some forty five minutes later we headed back and left Vermillion Station (Vermillion Point), the old abandoned Coast Guard Station first established in the late 1800's. We headed out to Tahquamenon Falls, paid to get in (simply because one must pay sometimes), and played Magic on a picnic table overlooking the river for about thirty minutes. We visited the gift shop and once again marveled at the sheer stupidity of all the hordes of identical tourist families. I will tell you, the falls are well worth paying to get in and see, as things like these don't occur very often in Michigan. If you're near them, go and see them. Make sure you spend some time there to really appreciate them, though. Just relax, kill some time, stroll along slowly, stop everywhere there is something to see. It can be hard to find a decent adventure when you're shoulder to shoulder with stereotypical tourist tools, but just follow your heart and do whatever so pleases you and an adventure will be sure to follow.
    We struck out for home... the wrong way! Our travel home started out a little wacky, as we took the road the wrong way and headed west into the U.P. coming out in Newberry. If you look at a map of the U.P. in google, Newberry is one of the only cities to show up at a zoomed out level. One would assume the city would be large, if it's worth showing up when zoomed out. However, this is not the case. Newberry is really nothing more than a large town, however it is quite the cool place. We passed a train stopped at a small "station", and we took a side road down next to it. Parking the car, we decided to walk the tracks and climb the train. This was one of my personal favorite "sub-adventures" during our trip. There's something about the spirit of the tracks and the train that says adventure like nothing else can. Down the tracks a ways we found a railroad refuse pile, and LO! A pile of railroad spikes ten feet in diameter and four feet tall!
Newberry Train Station.
    We backed the car up Italian Job style, and I jumped out as Jay popped the trunk. I threw in a few buckets of spikes and we "peeled out". Now my old tan car doesn't like to peel out at all, but the tires slipped on the gravel so I think it counts. We took the spikes because both of us are, and know, blacksmiths and these railroad spikes come in handy! Especially in significant quantities as railroad trash.
    We stopped at McDonald's to use their WiFi and try to find an Adult Store. It's been a long running goal of our adventure to find some adult stores to poke around in, just for the hell of it. We found none, however. Try googling adult stores in your area, or at least in Upper Michigan. THERE AREN'T ANY! Oh well. We took our last video documentary, and headed home. In Indian River we both put $10 in the tank, which put us at about 5/8th of a tank. We hoped this would get us home. We arrived around 2 am, Justin drove the whole way for who knows what reason. All in all a great time, 844 miles in three days and countless places visited and sights seen. An adventure well taken!
    Pack light, carry what you need, don't indulge yourself, and find your own adventures where it doesn't cost $3 for a day parking pass. There are plenty of good times just waiting to be had off the beaten path but you'll never find them unless you force yourself to break the mold. Take a different kind of trip next time you go. (HINT: more people means less per person on everything!) Make your own adventures!

  • $1.50 each for milk and honey bun
  • $1.75 each for parking pass into Tahquamenon
  • $1.50 each for four Vaults
  • $1.75 each to cross the Mac
  • $10 each for gas
  • Advenure: Priceless
  • Day Three Total: $16.50 per person
  • Trip Total: $55.75 per person

No comments:

Post a Comment

Tell us what you think: